Clinical correlates of social cognition after an ischemic stroke preliminary findings

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The co-occurrence of post-stroke behavioral disorders and cognitive impairment has been extensively investigated. However, studies usually do not include social cognition among the assessed cognitive domains. Objective: To investigate the potential association between facial emotion recognition, a measure of social cognition, and behavioral and cognitive symptoms in the subacute phase of ischemic stroke. Methods: Patients admitted to a Stroke Unit with ischemic stroke were followed up to 60 days. At this time point, they were evaluated with the following tools: Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE); Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB); Visual Memory Test of the Brief Cognitive Battery (VMT); Phonemic Verbal Fluency (F-A-S Test); Digit Span; Facial Emotion Recognition Test (FERT) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). A control group composed of 21 healthy individuals also underwent the same evaluation. Results: Eighteen patients with ischemic stroke were enrolled in this study. They had similar age, sex and schooling years compared to controls. Depression symptoms and episodic memory deficits were significantly more frequent in patients compared to controls. The recognition of sadness expression positively correlated with the levels of anxiety and depression, while and the recognition of fear expression negatively correlated with depression in the stroke group. Conclusions: After an ischemic stroke, patients exhibit impairment in social cognition skills, specifically facial emotion recognition, in association with behavioral symptoms.




de Souza, M. de F. D., Cardoso, M. G. de F., Vieira, É. L. M., Rocha, N. P., Ferreira E Vieira, T. H., Pessoa, A. E., … de Miranda, A. S. (2021). Clinical correlates of social cognition after an ischemic stroke preliminary findings. Dementia e Neuropsychologia, 15(2), 223–229.

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